From left are team members Tim DeLeon, Daniel Carrola, Guy Lenny and
Eric Dillon. Neil Leatherbury was unavailable for the photo.

UTSA launches tech entrepreneurship center

By Wendy Frost
Director of Communications, UTSA College of Business

(Dec. 21, 2006)--The UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE), a new interdisciplinary partnership established this fall by the College of Business and the College of Engineering, will create a pipeline for UTSA faculty, students and the business community to develop new technology ventures.

"One of our goals for the center is to help unlock the entrepreneur in both faculty and students through education and experiential activities," said Cory Hallam, CITE director. Hallam has MIT doctorate and master's degrees in engineering and technology management and policy.

During its start-up period, the center conducted an innovative student project that brought together four undergraduate mechanical engineering students in a senior design class with a business graduate student in the management of technology program.

As part of their final class project, the engineering students designed a mechanically augmented and ergonomic laryngoscope, a medical instrument used for intubations. Partnering with the business graduate student, they not only developed a prototype for their device, but also created a working business plan.

Student participants were senior mechanical engineering students Daniel Carrola, Tim DeLeon, Eric Dillon and Guy Lenny; and graduate management of technology student Neil Leatherbury.

"This project was beneficial for both student groups," said Hallam, who comes to UTSA with an extensive background in engineering, entrepreneurship development and technology management. "The undergraduate students gained exposure to the business context of technology development, and the graduate business student developed a functioning business plan for a new technology product."

Following their class project, the team submitted their work to the UT System Technology Transfer office in support of a patent. Plans include expanding this project in the coming year to include more student teams in the process.

"The goal is to select the projects which have the most business viability, create the business development plan and secure patents on these projects," Hallam said. "This gives students hand-on experience as early-stage entrepreneurs, brings in additional revenue for the UT System through technology licensing and lends prestige to the university's efforts in entrepreneurism."

For more information, contact Cory Hallam at (210) 458-6595.

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